Kiss – Agora Ballroom 1974: The Cleveland Broadcast – Plus Bonus Cuts (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

On April 1st, 1974, Kiss played at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio.  It was broadcast live on the radio and we have that show captured right here on another in the Bootleg Series.  This is probably one of the most famous of the bootlegs and one the band seems to like as well.

Kiss was signed only 6 months earlier on November 1st, 1973 to Casablanca records and Casablanca was heavily promoting them and this bootleg contains 3 such promotions.  The Agora Ballroom show, 3 songs from the ABC In Concert performance from March 29th, 1974 and their appearance on the Mike Douglas Show on April 29th, 1974.  It is Kiss at their infancy.

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The recording is from a broadcast and it is sounds really great.  Now do remember that this is a bootleg and so the sound isn’t perfect, but I think it is a true representation of the band’s live show and how cool to have such an early show. The sound is a little flat as the bass is a little understated (okay, a lot understated) and only one strong guitar sound (Ace).  The guys are eager, they are hungry and they are tearing it up.  There are no explosions, no one is breathing fire, it is straight up Rock & Roll. Well, there is the siren for “Firehouse”, but that is it.

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You get 7 songs off the debut album ‘Kiss’ and they are all strong songs.  You even get one Wicked Lester song “She” which wouldn’t be released on a Kiss album until 1975 on their third album ‘Dressed to Kill’.

I think Ace’s guitar work is incredible as is Peter’s drumming. Paul and Gene’s vocals were top notch which they should be as they haven’t been at it that long at this point. Even Peter on his songs was killing it.  This was a time when the band was really kicking ass and showing why you should take notice.  A sign of great things to come.

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After the Agora Ballroom show, you get 3 songs the band played on the ABC ‘In Concert’ TV Series…”Nothin’ to Lose”, “Firehouse” and “Black Diamond”.  Yes, same three songs as Agora, but remember this is 1974 and they have one album…what else are they going to play.  These songs sound don’t sound as good to me as Agora.  They sound thicker, if that makes sense.  Kind of like everything was running through one amp.  It isn’t bad, just different.

Next up is the Mike Douglas Show performance.  First up, you get Gene being interviewed by Mike and it is quite hilarious.  He is trying to be so badass, but it comes off quite comical.  However, it works better in video so if you have the Kissology DVD series, it is on Volume One and it is better to watch as you get more out of it.  You also get the ABC ‘In Concert’ performance on that video as well.  After the interview you get their performance of “Firehouse”.

This a really great bootleg and I love the bonus tracks so you get more for your money because you can find Agora shows that are only the Agora.  I actually like it a lot and would give it a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars as it is so cool to have such an early show and have it sound so good.  The live performances show how great that first album was and how much better it sounds live as it shows those songs have more to offer.  Grab this one if you can see it!

Check out the rest of the series if you have time!!  Thanks for stopping by!!

  1. Kiss – ‘Accept No Imitations’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ASYLUM TOUR)
  2. Kiss – Look Wot You Dun to Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (CRAZY NIGHTS TOUR)
  3. Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out! (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DESTROYER TOUR)
  4. Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DYNASTY TOUR)
  5. Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (HOTTER THAN HELL TOUR)
  6. Kiss – Northhampton PA March 19th, 1975 (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DRESSED TO KILL TOUR)
  7. Kiss – The Hottest Show On Earth (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (THE HOTTEST SHOW ON EARTH TOUR 2010)
  8. Kiss – All the Way to the Ball Room (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (Australian Tour 1995)
  9. Kiss – Kiss of Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (The Rising Sun Tour 2006)
  10. Kiss – Agora Ballroom 1974: The Cleveland Broadcast plus Bonus Cuts (Bootleg Series) – Album Review
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6 thoughts on “Kiss – Agora Ballroom 1974: The Cleveland Broadcast – Plus Bonus Cuts (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

  1. Great Stuff John!
    I have seen this on Amazon. I think I will need to get it now after reading this review! That’s the great thing about KISS especially before Alive went through the roof is that KISS were broke and going for it big time.
    You can’t beat that work ethic these guys put into it back in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

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